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LECTURE I.

LOVE.

laws

* Art thou a christian? Is the moving cause,

The spring of all thy actions, love? Do its pure
Constrain thy every power, thy heart, strength, mind?
Do its o'erflowings reach to all mankind,
And sit upon thy lip, and in thy bosom tremble?
In burning love to souls, thy Christ resemble.”

The sacred scriptures fully and clearly demonstrate the truth of the christian religion. Every book, chapter and paragraph, supply indubitable evidence both as to their antiquity and divine inspiration. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness : that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

The folly of some men has been apparent in their avowed opposition to christianity, and much cunning and sophistry have been employed for the purpose of sapping the foundation and burying in ruins the great temple of truth. But all their theorisings, scepticism, and denunciations against the religion of the Bible have only exposed the feebleness of their reasonings, the irrationality of their arguments, and the fallacy of their conclusions; and may be regarded as fleeting memorials of their own infatuation. But christianity is of God; and,

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therefore, men and demons cannot overthrow it. It has survived the storms of ages, and reared its immutable form above the waves of opposition, retaining its glory untarnished and undiminished while numbers of its foes have sunken into oblivion.

As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form

Swells from thc vale, and midway leaves the storm
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.”

Where christianity is embraced the results are the most glorious and beneficial. Philosophic or ecclesiastical codes and human inventions, when compared with it, dwindle into insignificance. In point of magnitude, interest and durability, it stands unrivalled. Where its benign influences have been felt, it has changed the moral aspect of society. It expels darkness from the mind, penetrates and softens the heart of adamant, subdues the rebellious will, civilizes the barbarian, transforms the lion into a lamb, and converts the soul. It reaches man in the depths of his iniquity, compasses him in all the measures of his guilt; it has stood by the penitent when imploring pardon, and freely bestowed the "oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." And, like an angel of light, it has shed a celestial radiance over the christian in his final struggle-pointed him to a world of light, and accompanied the triumphant spirit in its towerings to an immortality of blessedness.

Christianity implies the knowledge, possession, and influence of the Holy Spirit, for we are “born again of the Spirit.” The operation of the Spirit on the human mind is imperceptible and mysterious, but the results of that operation are intelligible and satisfactory; inasmuch as it invariably imparts to every believer a “knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins ;" for this has been the distinguished privilege of Christians in every age and

in every nation.

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